New York Restaurants
Please note: most of the restaurants recommended in the site meet three important criteria: (1) they are relatively inexpensive, (2) they are authentic and (3) they serve decent food. If you are looking for a more opulent dining experience, go elsewhere.
Afghan Kebab House [764 9th Ave, betw 51 and 52 / 212-307-1612. Another branch is located at 155 W. 46 St, betw 6th and 7th Avs / 212-768-3875]: Who says that you can't get a decent inexpensive meal in Midtown? The food here is fine for a quick bite, but the ambiance stinks. Another option for Afghan cuisine is Kabul Cafe [265 W. 54 St, betw Bway and 8th Ave / 212-757-2037].
Bangkok Cuisine [885 Eighth Ave, betw 52 and 53 Sts / 212-581-6370]: Acceptable Thai at reasonable prices. Go for lunch on Wed-Fri when there is a $9 all you can eat buffet. Another option for Thai is Chanpen Thai [769 9th Ave at 51 St. / 212-586-6808].
Mee Noodle Shop [796 9th Ave at 53 St. / 212-765-2929. Another branch is located at 219 1st Ave at 13 St. / 212-995-0333]; A good choice for a quick, inexpensive and healthy bite to eat.
Saigon Fun [772 9th Ave, betw 51st and 52 Sts. / 212-581-3810]: Authentic Vietnamese at cheap prices.
Queen of Sheba [650 10th Ave, betw 45 and 46 Sts / 212-397-0610]: Traditional Ethiopian cuisine served in diner-like environment. Another option for authentic Ethiopian is Meskerem [468 W. 47 St, betw 9th and 10th Aves / 212-664-0520. Another branch is located at 124 MacDougal St, betw Bleeker and W. 3rd St. / 212-777-8111]
Pongsri Thai [244 W. 48 St., betw Bway and 8th Ave / 212-477-4100]: Offers spicy, flavorful Thai cuisine at reasonable prices.
Bali Nusa Indah [651 9th Ave, betw 45 and 46 Sts / 212-265-2200] An opportunity to try Indonesian rijsttafel in the heart of Manhattan.
Druids [736 10th Ave, betw 51 and 52 Sts] Jodie Kilgannon describes this restaurant as "a great Irish pub with a menu that compares to some of NY's finest without the exorbitant prices. You can just sit down for a pint and chat, or order their great gravlax salad or excellent soup specials. There is always a rotating art show and the owner is a sweet Irish lad who'll ensure all is to your satisfaction."
Simply Pasta [120 W. 41 St. / tel: 212-391-0805]: Moderately priced pasta restaurant recommended by Lillian Bozak-DeLeo.
Yaffa Cafe [St. Mark's Place]: Cheap and healthy village eats. The interior is a bit funky, but the place has a lovely outdoor terrace during the summer that makes it a pleasant place to dine. Dojo's, which is right up the street on St. Marks, is equally funky and cheap [24-26 St. Mark's Place, betw 2nd and 3rd Ave./ 212-6749821. A second branch is located at 14 W. 4th Street, off Mercer Street / 212-505-8934]. Further east on St. Mark's is Cafe Mogador [101 St. Marks Pl, bet. Ave A and 1st Ave / 212-677-2226], a cramped but interesting Moroccan restaurant.
Ajisen Noodles [14 Mott Street, betw Chatham Sq. and Pell St / 212-267-9680]: For a quick and inexpensive lunch downtown, try doing what the Japanese do---have a bowl of noodles. For another noodle option try Soba-ya [229 E. 9th St., betw. 2nd and 3rd Avs / 212-533-6966].
Cocina Cuzco [55 Ave. A at 4th St / 212-529-3469] Authentic Peruvian at budget prices.
Tomoe Sushi [112 Thompson St, betw. Bleecker and Houston Sts. / 212-665-2916]: Theodore J. Baecher, adjunct in the Department of Philosophy, describes this restaurant as having "the best sushi in New York---if not the world. It offers melt in your mouth sushi at reasonable prices (for Manhattan anyway). The only drawbacks are the incredibly small size of the place and very long lines."
Rafaella Restaurant [381 Bleecker St, betw. Perry and Charles Sts /tel: 212-229-9885]: Charming Italian restaurant that is well worth the price. Recommended by Lillian Bozak-DeLeo.
Fleur de Mayo [two branches: 2651 Broadway, at 101 St / 212-663-5520 and 484 Amsterdam Ave, betw. 83 and 84 Sts / 212-787-3388: Inexpensive fusion Peruvian/Chinese.
Copeland's [547 W. 145 St, betw Amsterdam Ave and Bway / 212-234-2357] Some of the best soul food to be found in New York.
Josie's [300 Amsterdam Ave, near 78 St. A second branch is located at 37 St. and 3rd Ave] Jodie Kilgannon says that this restaurant is "dairy free, but you'd never know it---a great spot where vegetarians and carnivores can eat and ensure everyone is happy. It is New York hip, but not quite as pretentious (although close)." Next door to the 37th St. branch is their fast food take out.
Isabella's [359 Columbus Ave / 212-724-2100] Recommended by Lillian Bozak-DeLeo, this moderately priced Mediterranean-American restaurant is known for it's Sunday brunch.
Ristorante Carnevale [410 Amsterdam Ave, betw 79-80 Sts. / 212-595-7100]: Lillian Bozak DeLeo says that this pleasant Italian restaurant has reasonable prices for Manhattan, good service, and a delightful outdoor cafe.
Erawan [42-31 Bell Boulevard, Bayside / 718-428-2212 / website] Pleasant upscale Thai Restaurant with excellent food served in an attractive environment.
Persian Cafe [249-38 Horace Harding Expressway Little Neck / off exit 32 L.I.E. East / 718-631-7676] Inexpensive and delicious Persian [Iranian] food. The eggplant appetizer (kashkeh bodemjan) is wonderful as are the joujeh (cornish hen) kabob and lamb chops. The restaurant has an early bird special most nights that makes it a real bargain.
Jackson Diner [37-47 74st, Jackson Heights / 716-672-1232]: The extensive lunch and dinner buffets are ridiculously cheap and filled with some wonderful Indian food. One of the best bargains in NY. Note: the area around 74th street has become the Little India of Queens and is filled with inexpensive Indian eateries.
Afghan Kabob House [74-16 37 Ave, betw. 74th and 75 Sts in Jackson Heights / 718-565-3875] see description under Midtown Restaurants.
Pearson's Texas BBQ [71-04 35th Ave, betw. 71 and 72 Sts in Jackson Heights/ 718-799-7715] Considered some of the best barbeque in New York, even if the ambiance stinks. The ribs are supposedly exquisite.
Tibetan Yak [72-20 Roosevelt Ave at 72 St. / 718-799-1119]: Excellent Tibetan food served in a dreary environment.
Zum Stammtisch [69-46 Myrtle Ave, Glendale / 718-386-3014]: Considered one of the best places in New York for German food. Huge portions served in a kitschy Bavarian atmosphere.
Kum Gang San [138-28 Northern Blvd, Flushing / betw. Main and Union Streets / 718-461-1909]: this 24 hour Korean restaurant comes highly recommended by Ted Baecher, adjunct in the Philosophy department.
Penang [38-04 Prince Street, off Main Street in Flushing /718-321-2078. Other branches are loacted at 1596 Second Ave, off 83 St. and 240 Columbus Ave, off 71 St.]: Popular Malaysian chain, serving fairly authentic cuisine at reasonable prices.
Jade Palace [136-14 38th Ave (Main Street), Flushing / 718-353-3366]: The place to go in Queens for dim sum on Saturday or Sunday mornings. Get there early, because it is usually quite crowded.
Mombar [25-22 Steinway St, betw 25 and 28 Aves / 718-726-2356] Extremely popular, moderately priced Egyptian cuisine.
Ubol's Kitchen [24-42 Steinway St, betw Astoria Blvd and 25th Ave / 718-545-2874] Inexpensive, but well-prepared Thai food with crummy ambiance.
Taeneung [43-01 Queens Blvd., at 43 St / 718-706-9205]: Tasty Korean food served in pleasant environment. Especially recommended are the Bim Bab, the Bulgogi and the Chicken Gui.
Hemsin [39-17 Queens Blvd / 718-937-1715]; Inexpensive Turkish food. Recommended are the Babaganush appetizer, the lamb chops and the Kebabs.
Ariyoshi [41-13 Queens Blvd, betw. 41st and 42nd Sts / 718-937-3288]: Moderately priced Japanese food served in pleasant environment. Theodore Baecher, adjunct in the Philosophy Department, reports that the sushi and sashimi are very fresh. The restaurant also serves decent udon soups, tempura and yakitori. A very reasonable lunch menu is offered Mon-Fri from 11:30-2:30.
Sripraphai Thai Restaurant [6413 39th Ave, off 64th street and 1 block north of Skillman / 718-899-9599]: Recommended by Katharine Perri, who reports that the food was the most authentic Thai food that she has eaten outside of Thailand.
Planet Thailand [133 N. 7th St., Williamsburg / 718-599-5758]: Funky ambiance, but great and inexpensive Thai food. This area of Williamsburg has been undergoing a revival of late and is filled with cozy used bookstores and coffee shops. Recommended by Bob Griffin, who lives nearby and would probably be delighted to join you.
Dominic's [2335 Arthur Ave, off 187th St / 718-733-2807] The place for authentic southern Italian cuisine. Be prepared to wait forever to be seated, to be packed in with a bunch of loud Bronx Italians, and for a very limited selection of food. This having been said, you will not find a better Italian restaurant outside of Naples.
Mama Theresa's [Waldbaum Shopping Center, Jericho Tpk, Garden City]: Inexpensive and excellent southern Italian food. The ambiance is terrible and the wait long but worth it. This find belongs to Joe Schifillitti, Molloy Social Work alumnus.
Indian Oven [2827 Long Beach Road, Oceanside / 516-887-5393]: Authentic Northern Indian cuisine at a reasonable price. Mini Soin, Business major at Molloy, recommends the Butter Chicken or Butter Dahl, both of which she says are creamy and delicious.
Otto's [Nautical Mile, Freeport]: A good choice for seafood in a pleasant environment. For a better view of the water try the Scooner at the end of the Nautical Mile.
Vincent's [179 Old Country Road, Carle Place / opposite Roosevelt Field Mall in Toys-R-Us Shopping Plaza / 516-742-7177]: This Italian restaurant is always much too crowded, but the food is relatively inexpensive and fairly good.
Lemonleaf Grill [227 Old Country Road, Carle Place / across from Roosevelt Field and in the Seaman's Shopping Center / 516-739-5005] The New York Times has stated that this unpretentious restaurant has some of the best Thai food on Long Island. Mike Russo whole-heartedly recommends the Poh Taek soup and the Pahd Thai noodles. Extremely inexpensive, especially for lunch.
Houston's [Roosevelt Field Mall / Next to the movie theater at Roosevelt Field / 516-873-1454]: This dark little bistro is perfect for a quick bite after a movie or a romantic liaison. The food is light but interesting.
Il Sin Jung [271-11 Union Tpke, New Hyde Park / North side of Union Tpke, in a shopping center west of Lakeville Rd / 718-962-2288] Combination Korean and Japanese recommended by Newsday. Especially recommended are steamed and fried dumplings, the sushi, and the bulgogi (Korean sirloin barbecue).
Waterzooi [Franklin Ave, Garden City]: Expensive and overly trendy Belgian cuisine. Order a pot of mussels and a Trappist beer, however, and you will almost feel as though you are in "sunny" Belgium.
Nanatori [7 West Merrick Road, Valley Stream /516-561-3556/3558]: Relatively inexpensive Japanese restaurant with good selection that has received high praises from the LI Zagat's Guide.
Taj Mahal [221 W. Hempstead Tpk, W. Hempstead / 516-565-4607]: Cheap and good Indian eats.
Koenigs [86 S. Tyson Ave, Floral Park / 354-2700]. The place to go for German food in Nassau County. A Long Island institution.
Kabab King Mehal [485 Hempstead Tpke, West Hempstead / Opposite the Pathmark shopping center / 516-292-9292]: The service at this Pakistani restaurant may be a bit slow, but the food is authentic (i.e., spicy) and very inexpensive. The restaurant has an extensive lunch buffet special for only $5.99 on weekdays and $6.99 on weekends. Recommended by Molloy faculty in particular are the Chicken Tandori (very mild), the Lamb Chops, and the Chicken Tikka Masala.
Minando [219 Glen Cove Rd, Carle Place (about 2 blocks north of Old Country Rd on the right side of GCR) / 516-294-9541] Japanese seafood buffet with an incredible selection of items, including a wide variety of excellent sushi. The restaurant is almost always filled with Asians, so you know the quality has to be good. Tip: The lunch buffet is a much better deal, since it is about half the price of the dinner buffet.
Blue Moon [26 N. Park Ave., Rockville Centre / 516-763-4900 / about two blocks south of the Rockville Centre LIRR station]. Excellent brick oven pizza and decent pasta.
Tandoor Grill [222 Sunrise Highway, Rockville Centre / 516-766-4440/4441 / across from the RVC LIRR Station]. Northern Indian luncheon buffet for $7.95.
Thai Table [88a North Village Ave, Rockville Centre / Tel: 516-678-0886] Inexpensive Thai (especially for lunch and early bird dinner) with attractive decor. The food here is exceptionally tasty.